Skyline Ski Area in Grayling, Michigan is an intimate ski resort geared primarily toward beginning and intermediate skiers. The resort features a peak elevation of 1,516 feet and a modest vertical drop of 210 feet, making it an ideal place for youngsters to learn to ski or snowboard.
The resort offers 11 lifts and 10 trails that feature all-natural snow that's groomed daily. The trails and slopes are carved from Michigan's woodlands, consisting primarily of Aspen and Poplar stands, making for scenic views, especially from the resort at the summit. Wildlife also abounds, including winter songbirds, snowshoe rabbits, squirrels, and the occasional deer.
The Ski Area offers Alpine skiing, snowboarding, night skiing, as well as a terrain park for freestyle skiing and snowboarding, and 10 kilometer cross-country skiing. Skiing and snowboarding lessons and rentals are also available.
About 15 percent of the resort's slopes are ideal for beginning skiers, while 75 percent are suited for intermediate skiers. The remaining 10 percent are challenging enough for expert skiers.
In the lodge, the Skyline Restaurant provides a casual dining atmosphere, full lunch and dinner menus, and a beautiful view of the slopes.
The surrounding Grayling area also offers a number of hotels, motels, lodges and resorts, and is a haven for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Anglers and hunters flock to the area, and the city may be best known for the AuSable River that winds through it. The river is the home of trout, perch, otters, ospreys, blue herons, and even Bald Eagles. Grayling is also the site of the world's longest canoe marathon and boasts a legendary trout fishery.
In the summer months, the Grayling area is also a golfing destination, including the nine-hole Hawk Ridge Golf Course that co-exists with the Skyline Ski Area. The course features some dramatic elevation changes, and golfers will find themselves challenged by fairways that wind up and down through stands of trees.
Other nearby sights and activities include the Hartwick Pines State Park near Grayling. The park boasts what is known as an "old growth'' forest, with Red, White and Jack Pine trees that can tower more than 150 feet into the sky and be more than 150 years old. The forest is the habitat for all manner of wildlife, from Kirtland's Warblers, to bluebirds, beavers, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, badgers, owls, woodpeckers, and black bear.
The Grayling area is also a popular destination for several other northern-Michigan activities, such as morel and mushroom hunting, berry picking, and fall color tours. Morels can be found from April to mid-June, while an abundant supply of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries can be found in mid to late summer months.
For watching the changing colors, there are few destinations that can match northern Michigan. Its contrasting forests of evergreen and hardwood are spectacular, and can be viewed by driving, cycling or canoeing. The Skyline Ski Area even provides the use of its ski slopes as a Fall color viewing site, adding to the attractions at the resort.